John Lewis is the first major player to report on its Black Friday sales, and for the partnership this seems to have been a very good trading day. The omnichannel retailer has said that sales have exceeded expectations.
“We expect traffic to continue to the website today but for customers who prefer to visit one of our shops they will open earlier than usual at 8am,” said Dino Rocos, lead director and operations director, John Lewis. “Over the weekend we expect to see the usual pattern of trade resume as customers head to our 48 shops.
“We have carefully planned for this year’s Black Friday event to ensure orders can be fulfilled without compromising the customer service and seamless delivery we’re famous for.”
John Lewis found that the busiest time of Black Friday was between 0800 – 0830. However, the retailer continues with its sales until midnight on the 28th of November.
The returns phase of the sales period will be the real drama, said Mike Danby CEO of Advanced Supply Chain Group.
“If forecasting and planning has been backed up by a ready to rock IT infrastructure, ‘Black Fiveday’ should be a time for retailers to delight customers, improve their inventory for the festive period and rake in revenues,” he said. “In my view, the real drama for retailers will come in the days following the mega sales and fist fights. Returns processing has been amongst the Black Friday nightmares seen in the past few years – getting money back to customers, and ensuring stock levels are at the right level in time for the second wave of Christmas shopping has caused hell on earth for some retailers.”
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